Crane fly spotted
This long-legged creature has been officially recorded at Sherwood Forest for the first time since World War One.
The Tipula Rufina crane fly was spotted on the exterior wall of the visitor centre at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve last weekend.
Nottinghamshire County Council ranger Gary Joynt took a snap of the crane fly and checked its origins against conservation records with invertebrate surveyor experts Trevor and Dilys Pendleton.
The couple have managed Sherwood Forest’s invertebrates site species list since 2008 which details over 20,000 invertebrate records logged at the nature reserve since the late 1800's. It is the first time in almost a century that Tipula rufina has been spotted at Sherwood Forest, which is managed by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The only other record of the insect, is that it was last recorded in June 1914 at Sherwood Forest by L.A. Carr and was listed in J.W. Carr's book 'The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire' published in 1916.
Gary Joynt said: "I was surprised but delighted to spot this species – the last time it was recorded here was back in 1914 so it was quite a unique sighting. It demonstrates the rich diversity of invertebrates in the forest which is there for everyone to enjoy.”
Mr Pendleton said: "Crane flies are under recorded due to the difficult nature of their identification to species level, but we were fortunately able to determine from photographs that this was Tipula rufina. The distinctive identification mark was a black stripe on the side of the thorax. While these crane flies are reasonabily common in spring, it is a rarely recorded sighting, and highlights the value of the conservation work we do to monitor and protect this biodiversity."
"In terms of the richness of the biodiversity of invertebrates, Sherwood Forest is up there with the New Forest and Windsor Great Park in the UK for what it offers and is well worth people visiting to enjoy the natural environment.”
For more details about Sherwood Forest and conservation, call tel: 01623 823202 and for more details about Trevor and Dylis Pendleton and their company, and the work at Sherwood Forest visit website: www.eakringbirds.com